Ladbrokes CEO Defends FOBTs Ahead of Pending Government Review
Uncertainty and speculation is exactly what the markets do not like to see and the Ladbrokes Coral Group are feeling this. Despite reporting a rise in annual operating profits by 22 percent, the speculation surrounding a seemingly impending crackdown by the government on fixed odds betting terminals sent their share price down today by 1.7 percent to 133p.
The mega gambling powerhouse created by last year’s merger reported an impressive operating profit rise to £264 million which were boosted by digital growth and increases in their European retail businesses.
The main thereat to the FOBTs is the proposed maximum stake change which could be brought down from £100 to £2.
Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen was adamant once again that the stake issue is not what is causing gambling addiction proves. He told Reuters,” The review was a call for evidence and we have provided evidence which suggests that the stakes are not the principal cause for problems in gambling. If that is the case, we are hoping that there would be a positive outcome for us,”
One of the benefits for of a possible crackdown on FOBTs according to Fitch Ratings would be an increase in online channels. For now the uncertainty of what will happen is weighing on the companies as if there were to be a serious crackdown this vital source of revenues would be drastically cut.